Ambassador Laurel Hosts the 16th Asia-Africa 20 Meeting

H.E. Jose C. Laurel V, Philippine Ambassador to Japan, delivers his welcome remarks at the 16th Asia-Africa 20 Regular Meeting (Photo courtesy of Kyodo PR)

Philippine Ambassador to Japan H.E. Jose C. Laurel V hosted the 16th Regular Meeting of the “Asia-Africa 20” on 17 May 2019 at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Laurel highlighted the “Golden Age” of Philippines-Japan bilateral relations as well as the Philippine government’s rigorous economic agenda to further open up the country’s economy, improve the ease of doing business, and enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of various sectors and industries. He also welcomed the favorable credit ratings by the Japan Credit Rating Agency from “stable” to “positive” and the S&P Global’s upgraded rating from “BBB” to “BBB+” with a “stable” outlook. “These favorable credit ratings recognize the Philippines’ sound economic and fiscal reforms, a diligent monetary policy coupled with strong leadership to steer the Philippines towards the years ahead”, Ambassador Laurel said.

Commercial Counselor STR Ma. Bernardita Mathay discussed the Philippines’ initiatives to assist and strengthen Small- and Medium-Enterprises (SMEs). One of the SMEs, Auro Chocolates, shared its story on doing business in Japan.

Director Sachiko Takeda of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) explained major infrastructure projects funded through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

After the meeting, Ambassador Laurel hosted a reception featuring delicious Filipino dishes and Philippine agricultural products such as mangoes, cavendish banana, “saba” or cooking banana, banana heart, and papaya. The guests also enjoyed tasting Auro chocolates, Mango and Calamansi Liquer and Manila Dark Rum by Destileria Limtuaco.

The Philippine Embassy featured Philippine products such as fruits, liquer by Destileria Limtuaco, and Auro Chocolates.

Guests enjoyed delicious Filipino dishes at the reception hosted by Ambassador Laurel.
(Photo courtesy of Kyodo PR)

“Asia-Africa 20” is a platform for Japanese companies to consider developing businesses along with other fast-growing Asian and African countries through exchanges between Asian and African ambassadors and member companies. Currently, about 30 Asian and African Ambassadors have participated and more than 30 Japanese companies have signed up for membership.